Suffering- the heart of the Christian story

By Dave Henning / January 10, 2014

“There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy . . .” -Hamlet

As Timothy Keller notes at the end of Chapter 3 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection actually are at the heart of the Gospel message:

“And now it is how we suffer that comprises one of the main ways we become great and Christlike, holy and happy, and a crucial way we show the world the love and glory of our Savior.”

Humility is the key.  Pastor Keller cites the Biblical account of Naaman, a wealthy and powerful general in the Syrian army.  Suffering from leprosy, Naaman believed that money, influence, and expertise could address his suffering.  Assuming the Israelite king possessed most of these tings, Naaman went to see the king, expecting a resolution.  But the king knew only God could cure Naaman.  Human knowledge cannot control and defeat the darkness.  The author notes that “pain and evil in this world are pervasive and deep and have spiritual roots.”

When Naaman humbled himself, he not only was cured of leprosy, but received a new relationship with God.  Jesus loved us so much that He faced His suffering with patience and courage.  Pastor Keller states that we must trust Jesus enough to do the same.

Today’s question: What worldly answers have you sought to the devastation of your vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Answers for the heart”

About the author

Dave Henning


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